Vanessa Coffman

Director of Alliance to Stop Foodborne Illness at Stop Foodborne Illness
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Stop Foodborne Illness, the national nonprofit public health organization dedicated to the prevention of illness and death from foodborne pathogens, announced today that Dr. Vanessa Coffman has joined the organization as Director of the Alliance to Stop Foodborne Illness. The Alliance is a groundbreaking initiative between STOP and 15 leading food companies committed to strengthening food safety culture. Alliance members include Walmart, Costco, Kellogg’s, Amazon, Coca-Cola, Conagra, among others.
Dr. Coffman joins STOP following her post-doctoral Fellowship at the University of Illinois Chicago where she conducted research on the impact of nitrate-contaminated water on childhood health; her findings were published in Environmental Health Perspectives and Environment International. She previously worked at STOP as the Senior Policy Coordinator where she routinely worked with policymakers in an array of government agencies and with Congressional leaders. She earned her Doctorate in environmental epidemiology from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health where she led research on pork production and worker and community health. She also holds a Masters degree from the University of California, Berkeley in Global Public Health and the Environment.
With a diverse background in food safety and sustainability, Dr. Vanessa Coffman brings a strong focus on environmental exposures across the food system.
She received her PhD in Environmental Epidemiology from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and a MS from The University of California, Berkeley in Global Public Health and the Environment.
Vanessa has previously worked at STOP as a policy analyst. Since then, she has conducted research for the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization in Sierra Leone (West Africa) examining opportunities and roadblocks to farming in a post-war setting. Additionally, she has done extensive research on occupational and residential exposures from large pork production operations in rural North Carolina, and conducted research based in Denmark examining the association between nitrate in drinking water (largely from food animal operations) and fetal health outcomes.
Dr. Coffman has testified in front of U.S. government officials and has co-authored peer-reviewed papers and helped draft federal regulations.

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  • “I’m excited to use my scientific knowledge of food safety issues in combination with my policy experience to make actionable change,” Dr. Coffman said. “The Alliance is an exciting new venture that will make large and lasting impacts on the safety of our food system. I’m thrilled to be back at STOP and lead this unique and powerful collaboration.”

    17 November 2021
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